I'm in mid-tour right now and nearing the California border, heading south. We're using the adventure cycling maps, and the "riding conditions" section advises us not to bike in summer due to traffic, or, if we must, to ride from dawn to 10 am and then pack it in for the day at that point.
We've seen a fair bit of traffic as we came south through Oregon but I imagine California will be worse, especially after July 4th when a lot more people take vacations. Also I hear the roads in California are worse (more areas with blind corners and no shoulders).
Riding from dawn to 10am is going to be difficult. We're camping and it takes a long time to pack in the morning; getting up at 5 am every day would be tough. It may be a little extreme, too, but I've been on US 101 long enough already to be very wary of riding in high traffic. Does anyone have experience riding this route? What's the best strategy to dealing with traffic? Best times to be on the road, etc?
Also can anyone confirm what we've heard about shoulders? Are we going to find a lot of areas with no shoulders? What do you do on a blind corner with no shoulders? That would really scare me.